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Americas Enjoy Chip Sales, Employment Gains

If you are based here in the United States, you may have enjoyed a fireworks display over the weekend. Not only did the country celebrate Independence Day on July 4, with many slipping away from their desks for a four-day weekend, but the electronics industry was celebrating a positive report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) that shined brightly on the region.

The industry group announced on July 1 that global semiconductor sales jumped by the largest margin in more than three years in May.

“May was an unambiguously strong month for the global semiconductor industry, with growth across all regions and particularly encouraging increases in the Americas and Asia Pacific,” said Brian Toohey, SIA president and CEO, in a statement. “Sales have remained ahead of last year's pace throughout 2013, indicating the increasing resiliency of the market.”

May 2013 Global Semiconductor Sales

Source: Semiconductor Industry Association

Source: Semiconductor Industry Association

Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $24.7 billion for the month of May, an increase of 4.6 percent from the previous month when sales were $23.62 billion. This equaled the largest sequential monthly increase in sales for the industry since March 2010.

According to the SIA, total global sales for the month were 1.3 percent higher than May 2012's total $24.4 billion.

By region, the strongest sales gains in May as compared to April were made unsurprisingly in Asia Pacific at 5.9 percent, but were followed by the Americas at 5.6 percent.

To be true, Asia Pac still carried the bulk of May's sales, topping $14.5 billion compared to the America's $4.6 billion. But growth is growth, and given the rocky road the Americas have traveled since 2008, this is notable.

In contrast, Japan and Europe had less than 1 percent growth each, at 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

Year-over-year comparisons show a similar trend. While May Europe sales were up a meager 0.1 percent and Japan down 18.4 percent (in large part due to the devaluation of the yen), sales in May increased in Asia Pacific by 5.8 percent and in the Americas by 3 percent.

With May on the books, 2013 year-to-date sales are 1.5 percent higher than they were at the same point in 2012, the SIA data states.

These results are good news for the overall electronics supply chain and components industry, but represent particularly a good highlight for the Americas.

Add in the news from June's ADP Employment Report showing the US private sector added 188,000 jobs across all sizes of businesses last month, and the Americas had even more reason to celebrate this past weekend. Employment is without a doubt a key factor in consumer confidence and end product purchases.

The job gains were the second-largest increase by month so far this year, following growth of 198,000 in February and an even 100,000 increase on the 88,000 jobs added in June 2012.

We're half way through the year, and while no one expects 2013 to break records, this evidence of continuing recovery is worth celebrating.

What's your take? How do the Americas and overall market look from your vantage point? Share your thoughts below.

31 comments on “Americas Enjoy Chip Sales, Employment Gains

  1. elctrnx_lyf
    July 8, 2013

    Good to see that the market is back and the employment is on the rise. I believe the economy works in a cycle and everyone should stand and wait for the good days if faced with bad situations.

  2. SP
    July 8, 2013

    Great to hear that semiconductor sales are doing well. The USD value is all time high as compared to Rupee. If US economy is doing well everyone around the world would be happy.

  3. Ruth Glover
    July 8, 2013

    The news in the US about employment is encouraging, even if the unemployment rate hasn't moved much.  I just did a search on LinkedIn on the jobs available, using the following search words:

    1709 Semiconductor jobs

    363  Supply Chain jobs

    1848 Component jobs

    506 Purchasing AND Electronics

    The tech chain has openings.  Changing the way people search for jobs has evolved.  Hiring managers need to prepare as there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  They need to hone their hiring processes for the (hopeful) upturn in the economy.  

  4. Suzanne.Deffree
    July 8, 2013

    You make an excellent point, Ruth. If hiring managers are not prepared, this growth is a moot point. At some times, HR departments can be more influential on the supply and design chains than engineers, distributors, and purchasers combined.

  5. hash.era
    July 9, 2013

    I see this as a very encouraging sign for both job market and technology . That shows even though the economy is not that stable all around the need for technology is still hungry

  6. Ashu001
    July 10, 2013

    Ruth,

    Very,Very True.

    There is no disputing the fact that the American Economy is showing some signs of Life but the big problem is its coming at the sametime as China,Brazil ,Australia and India are witnessing major slowdowns.

    I don't know if the American Engine has gained enough traction here to pick up for the coming slack especially from China today.

    Let's wait and watch and enjoy some Growth for now.

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

  7. Ruth Glover
    July 10, 2013

    I don't think we should wait, if we are in the U.S. If you are planning to hire, the team needs to be involved and trained. If you are hiring, your team should be aware of individual roles in the process. Job seekers are more sophisticated than previously. Defining the job and required skills is a good start to assure hiring top talent.

  8. FLYINGSCOT
    July 11, 2013

    What do you reckon is fuelling this growth?  We still see a very depressed near future.  I hope this is a real recovery as the industry could do with a nice boost.

  9. Daniel
    July 15, 2013

    “Good to see that the market is back and the employment is on the rise. I believe the economy works in a cycle and everyone should stand and wait for the good days if faced with bad situations.”

    Elctrnx-lyf, you are right. It's a part of cycle. When chip sales are increasing obliviously business and in turn job opportunities too. so all thing lies as a part of full cycle.

  10. Ashu001
    July 22, 2013

    Ruth,

    Quite right.

    No we should'nt wait for too long but rather takes things slowly-slowly as per our Requirements.

    I would rather Hire somebody who can fit in exactly with our Company culture as well as is a 75-80% fit for our Requirements(we can easily train him/her for the rest) than hire someone who is a 100% Fit for our Requirements but ends up being a Total Misfit in our Team culture.

    At the end of the day the Organization should be the No.1 Prriority;not the Individual.

    Also,even if it means there is some slack in the company (after Hiring the Newbie Staff)-Does'nt happen usually we can always allot those employees to other Departments (where there is a Pressing Requirement today) as well as Focus on Training them in how the Entire Organization works today.

     

     

  11. Ashu001
    July 22, 2013

    FlyingScot,

    I happen to be in more or the less the same Boat as you-Just feel Glass is Half Full today.

    This definitely does'nt feel like an Economy that is roaring on all Cylinders but neither does it feel like the Economy of 2008-9.

    There are definitely Pockets of Solid and Robust Growth today in the US.

    To Name some-Texas,Silicon Valley,The Bakken Crude Area.The Marcellus Shale Gas Area,DC,Even the Gulf Coast is seeing Decent Employment Gains.

    In addition if we could just get these Two Sectors do well-

    1)Tourism (especially International Tourists) to feel Welcome in the US

    &

    2)Infrastructure-Especially Roads,Power and Water.

    Things would be so much-much better in the US.

     

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

  12. Ruth Glover
    July 22, 2013

    I've been doing research on the market for upcoming articles.  Your comments are definitely on target.  The economic news is mixed.  Tech people may have to relocate to use their skills, as there are tech jobs in many fields, which all fit into the supply chain.

  13. Anand
    July 22, 2013

    There are definitely Pockets of Solid and Robust Growth today in the US.

    @tech4people, true. US economy is showing lot of growth but surprisingly India and China economies are display lot of weakness. It would be interesting to see when we will start seeing recovery in the developing nations economy.

  14. Anand
    July 22, 2013

    I would rather Hire somebody who can fit in exactly with our Company culture as well as is a 75-80% fit for our Requirements

    @tech4people, totally agree with you. I think companies should make sure that they hire employee who can fit in exactly with our Company culture. If the employee doesnt fit ub exactly with the company culture then such employees may not be able to give their best.

  15. Ashu001
    July 24, 2013

    Ruth,

    That would be very fair.

    Techies who are prepared to be flexible and re-locate depending on where the Jobs are today will always do well.

    Flexibility is extremely paramount ;No Doubt about it!

    Basically-Its Perform or Perish-Is'nt it?

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

  16. Ruth Glover
    July 24, 2013

    Relocating is very difficult for most people but change is inevitable and people do adjust, make new friends and business colleagues.  With people living longer, relocation can be extremely difficult for the families with teenagers and aged parents in their lives.  

  17. syedzunair
    July 24, 2013

    @Ruth: 

    Tech people are already relocating to different areas in search of better prospects. The number of tech people migrating from India, Pakistan etc is phenomenal. One reason of this migration pattern is that not many jobs are available in the developing nations pertaining to high end tech jobs. Therefore, skilled people like to go to other countries to have a better future. 

  18. syedzunair
    July 24, 2013

    @anandvy:

    China is the world's second largest economy and they were doing great a couple of years ago. The maufacturing industry there is feeding the needs of billions of people out there. Sometimes I wonder if this halt in growth is intentional? 

  19. syedzunair
    July 24, 2013

    @anandvy:

    I agree with you in theory but in practise it is very hard to detemine if an individual will fit into the culture at the time of recruitment. Temperament of individuals is best shown when they actually work for an organization. At the time of recruitment even the person who would hate the culture would say absolutely anything to get the job. 

  20. syedzunair
    July 24, 2013

    @Ashish:

    For tech people it is extremely important to remain updated with the latest things in the tech world. Similarly, for most tech people relocation is something very common. The techies go on support calls to different parts of the world regularly. At times they can also relocate for a longer period of time as compared to a limitied deputation. 

  21. syedzunair
    July 24, 2013

    @Ruth: 

    It depends on a lot of factors primarily age, family relations, goals in life, ability to make new friends easily, being able to adjust well in new envoirnment & culture and so on. Yes, the decision is difficult but I have seen that the most important motivator for people is the compensation. If you give them adaquate compensation they would gladly choose to relocate. 

  22. Ruth Glover
    July 24, 2013

    From my experience as a recruiter, comp is important but if comp is the motivator, the individual may not fit well.  What the person DOES is more important as the person who loves the job will be far more productive.

  23. syedzunair
    July 25, 2013

    @Ruth: 

    I certainly value you input and you might be correct about this. Altough, I think that it would depend upon the culture too. I have seen many employees leave the work they love for something else just because they were being paid better. I might not have years of recruiting experience but I have certainly seen these individuals over the years. 

  24. Ruth Glover
    July 25, 2013

    The money motivated candidates may not fit what the hiring managers want.  Despite the fact that jobs don't last as long these days, hiring managers ordinarily prefer to invest in new employees who are more interested in the value they add to the company than the value they would get in their pockets.  

  25. Ashu001
    July 25, 2013

    Syed,

    But honestly do you really feel most Techies take the effort to give themselves totally up to date with all that is changing in their Profession?

    I don't think so.

    And I don't say this lightly.

    As for the issue of re-location-Sure there are some who are willing to do it,If the Money is right or Career prospects are bright enough.The rest just chose to continue struggling in a Career Rut.

  26. Ashu001
    July 25, 2013

    Ruth,

    That's a Tough one.

    I prefer looking at it from the view of Flexibility for the Main Bread-earner's point of view.When you are working really hard to put Food on the Table,Do you really want additional Stresses (which you can really do without)?

    Its all a Give and take process here when it comes to this Flexibility.Parents have to learn to be a little More Flexible else life just becomes more and more difficult(and all relationships eventually reach breaking point then).

     

  27. syedzunair
    July 26, 2013

    @Ruth:

    You are absolutely correct. Hiring managers want to get the people who are the best fit for the organization. They tend to hire employees keeping in mind the long term values. Although, at times it might become very difficult to get these sort of guys.

  28. syedzunair
    July 26, 2013

    tech4people:

    Not all might go through the process of keeping up to date but I can assure you the best of the lot do. I have seen resumes spanning pages filled with certifications of all kinds.

  29. syedzunair
    July 26, 2013

    tech4people:

    That is another angle of looking at the scenario. Coming from where you are it does seem justified that people would fall for higher wages all the time. Loyalty is a relative term these days.

  30. Ashu001
    July 31, 2013

    Syed,

    Yes its funny in a way.

    I have seen so many super-experienced Pros today stick with a Company which pays them sometimes between 20-30% less than the Market rate.

    Why is that?

    Because the Company took really good care of them in their Time of need.

    Sounds like a Quaint notion today,I know but it still does happen!

  31. Ashu001
    July 31, 2013

    Syed,

    Yes thats true.

    A lot of people even today pursue Certifications very religiously.

    BUt there is also another larger segment of Technical pros who no longer see value in this Certification business.

    I don't blame them for that-Its become Too much of a Business-This Training thing.

     

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